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Junk Mail - Spam

Junk Mail and its challenges

What is junk mail  (also known as SPAM)

Loosely speaking, junk mail is any email that you didn't directly request. In email terminology, it's called unsolicited commercial email (UCE).

Sometimes junk mail is useful - mostly it is unwelcome.

What's not junk mail

Email that you give permission to others to send to you is not junk mail because  you have opted in to receiving it. You'll continue to get it until you unsubscribe.

Likewise, if you subscribe to announcements from companies or have joined mailing lists, this also is not considered junk mail.

The challenges of Junk Mail

Junk emailers use many techniques to trick you into reading their mail.

One common technique is to use a different sending email address for every email they send to you. This makes using blocking lists based on addresses a relatively futile exercise, but sometimes it does work to block email addresses.

Some email programs use filters and rules based on words to identify junk mail. This is more successful than address-based exclusions but run a high risk of excluding messages that are not junk (false positives).

Strategies for dealing with Junk Mail

NEO's approach

Rather than take explicit action for each piece of junk mail, we believe it's better in the long run to take action on the mail you want to keep.

NEO's ability to automatically separate Bulk Mail from Correspondent mail is the first important step. However, you still need to deal with the remainder of your junk mail.

Directing Junk Mail to an Outlook folder

You can tell NEO to ignore spam folders so email in them is excluded from NEO's normal organization folders (e.g., Active Mail, Today, etc.).  These can be folder(s) you direct mail to manually, or can be folders used by a spam-detection program.

If you get lots of junk mail, we recommended that you use a third-party spam-detection program (or the one included in Outlook 2003 or above). Even with a spam-detection program, some junk mail will still find its way into NEO.

Using NEO to clear out your junk mail

1. Create bulk mail folders for all of your non-junk email (mailing lists, ezines, announcements). When you do this, all bulk mail that would normally be put into the Unsorted Bulk Mail folder is instead redirected to its appropriate Bulk Mail folder.

2. When you see junk mail, you need to decide whether to delete the message or block the sender. Most often, junk senders use completely different addresses each time they send junk mail to you. In this case, just delete the message. Sometimes, however, they use the same address or a variation of it. In that case, you can block the sender.

3. Check for junk mail often to keep it from piling up. New junk mail will arrive in two locations in NEO:

a)   Unsorted Bulk Mail folder in Bulk Mail view.  Browse this folder daily and delete messages or block senders. These should be easy to find since these unsorted messages are mostly junk (although it may contain new non-junk messages you may have subscribed to but have not yet organized - see step 1).

b)   New top-level folder in Correspondent view.  Here you will see all correspondents who have sent you new messages for the first time. Check this daily. For junk mail, delete messages or block senders. For New Correspondents you want to keep, right-click the Correspondent folder and choose Make Current.

If you process your New folders each day, it's easy to stay on top of it.

4. Empty your Junk Senders folder frequently.


Excluding Spam Folders from NEO

Many people use programs to automatically detect and isolate spam (junk mail) into one or more Outlook folders. Later versions of Outlook have this feature built in, and many third party programs have more extensive capabilities.

NEO supports these programs by allowing you to exclude from NEO messages going into these spam folders. The excluded messages are still viewable in your Outlook folders (via NEO's Outlook view) - they just aren't included in any of NEO's normal folders such as Active Mail, Today, and so on.

How to exclude folders from NEO

You can exclude any Outlook user folder that you define. In fact, it isn't restricted to spam folders. You may want to choose to exclude other user-defined folders too.

·         Right-click the folder in NEO Outlook view and choose Folder properties,

·         Check the "Folder contains Spam" checkbox

How it works

·         When a message is moved into your designated spam folder, the message is excluded from NEO. If it is moved out of your spam folder, it becomes included in NEO.

·         This happens whether your program automatically handles the message or you handle it manually.

·         Excluding starts from the time in which you add the folder to the list in NEO, and stops when you remove it.  Therefore it may be that your designated folder has some messages that are excluded and some that are included.  We recommend that you empty the spam folder before adding it to the NEO list.

Using third-party spam detection programs

In some cases, for third-party spam detection programs to work with NEO, you must do the following:

·         be sure to start Outlook before starting NEO, AND

·         keep Outlook running until you turn off your computer.

If the spam folders are not being excluded as expected, please follow the above, or connect to our knowledge base available on our support page.

Blocking Spam senders

We normally recommend that you simply delete junk email because most junk mail senders use completely different email addresses each time. However, If you get multiple junk mail messages from the same email address, or using the same email address or email name pattern, you can block the sender.

How blocking a Spam Sender works

When you block a sender, all email from that party will appear in no NEO folders except in a special, restricted folder called Spam Senders in the Spam top-level folder of Bulk Mail view.

The effect of blocking a sender is that the address (or address pattern) is added to the list of addresses for the Spam Senders folder. You can review the messages contained in the folder, and you can empty the folder like you can with Deleted Items.

When clicking the “Block Spam Sender” icon on the toolbar, the action requires confirmation to avoid unintentional blocking of senders.

The Spam Senders list

Quickly blocking a Spam Sender

Highlight one or more messages and …

o   click Block Spam Sender  on the Standard toolbar, or

o   press Ctrl+Shift+X, or

o   right-click and choose Block Spam Sender, or

o   drag and drop them onto the Spam Senders folder.

This will add the sender's email address to the Spam Senders folder.

Manually adding to or editing the Spam Senders list

To edit the Spam Senders list, double-click the Spam Senders folder (in Bulk Mail view), or right-click it and choose Folder Properties. Then like any Correspondent or Bulk Mail folder, you can manually change, add, move or remove addresses.

To remove someone from the list, use the Move command. You can also add address patterns to capture senders who use variations of the same sending address.

Deleting Spam Sender messages

Messages whose senders you have blocked are visible only in the Spam Senders folder. You may want to browse it before deleting its contents.

If you delete the messages from the list pane, they will be sent to the Deleted Items folder (unless you use Shift+Del for permanent deletion).  If you empty the folder (right-click the folder and choose Empty Folder) the messages are permanently deleted.

In either case, the list of addresses remains after you delete the messages. We recommend that you empty the folder frequently.